A #DemonetisationDisaster story I mightve tweeted before. We were on a Neeta bus from Bombay to Pune in Dec 2016. A trip I'd made 100s of times. I had told Rupal how I loved the food vendors who got on the bus in Chembur, Vashi, Lonavala. And bought their product very often.
That time though, with cash in short supply, we had to be selective. In Vashi, dude selling boiled peanuts got on. We bought the peanuts. They were great. But the bus broke down. We had to wait an hour or so until a replacement bus arrived. I started chatting with vendors.
The peanut guy remembered me as the only person on the bus who bought something from him. Most people didn't buy anything. Twas Dec 2016. But Oct 2016, people would have been buying this stuff big time. Not in Dec.

Modi decided to abolish 85% of the nation's currency overnight.
Modi took a surging economy & scuttled it by making the money in people's own pockets, their own hard-earned money, illegal. Suddenly people were treating cash as a commodity.

Indians still don't get how messed up that idea is. To make currency a commodity with scarcity.
But back to the boiled peanuts guy. I chatted with him for a while. Asked him how business was affected by the #Demon. First he did the proforma thing of saying "for the sake of the nation, to defeat black money" etc. But when I started talking, he realized I wasn't a bhakt.
He became forthcoming.

Nothing really damning or insulting about the Indian IT sector's personal crush Modi. But he did talk about his practical troubles. And how he and a few others had it particularly bad because they sold perishable products. Unlike the ones selling Lays.
His point was almost straight out of a business school case study. Revenue vs cost etc.

Everyone's revenue was hit hard & was uncertain cos Modi wanted to win U.P.

Cash sales were down. But the ones selling Lays, Cadbury etc at least had durable inventory. Less headache.
So if you didn't sell enough packets of chips or kurkure today, you could still sell them tomorrow. Or day after. Or week after. Etc.

The ones selling perishable goods had no such flexibility. Boiled peanuts have to be sold the day they are boiled. Or then thrown away.
The Modi-made #DemonetisationDisaster meant that the guy's estimates about the quantity of peanuts that'll be sold in a day, based on previous sales, were off. He'd often end up not selling even a little of it. Other days, he ran out of boiled peanuts to sell.
The Bombay-Pune Volvo crowd is mostly white collar brahmins, the sangh base, which will tell you the sky is green if Modi says so. I heard tech uncles boasting about how they never pay cash etc. So this guy's revenue was hit. But costs did not go down. If anything, they spiked.
So even among the vendors jumping on to buses, he had it worse. Cos the Modi-made #DemonetisationDisaster meant that in one bus, no one would buy anything. In another, some would buy something. It was random. There was no way for him to calculate his inventory needs.
Oh, just remembered, back when I first tweeted this story, a lot of people are like "why doesn't he sell something else then"?


Indian elites really have no idea how the other half lives. You think street vendors have any kind of agency in what they should sell?
Instead of watching Squid Game, talk to a few street vendors in India about their lives.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Gaurav Sabnis 🇮🇳🇺🇸

Gaurav Sabnis 🇮🇳🇺🇸 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @gauravsabnis

7 Nov
My bestie's 9 yo is writing a book and creating characters. Plot is "An angel named Angie & a demon named Charlie work together to stop a monster who is a son of the devil" and I said "wow, you are Neil himself" but the joke didn't land cos she's never read @neilhimself
Now trying to decide if it's okay to show #GoodOmens clips to a 9 y.o.

I'll let her dad decide.
Her dad and I are very much this.
Read 4 tweets
6 Nov
This post is so telling.

Random sanghi bros in bay area doing lazy fact-free whataboutery when if they had ever actually had any Muslim friends, they'd know that Mohammed is not at all a part of Eid celebrations. 🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️ Image
How aggressively bigoted and ignorant do you have to be in 2021 to think that venerating Mohammed is a part of Eid?
"anti-national" Image
Read 14 tweets
6 Nov
It will soon be the 5 year anniversary of #DeMon. Modi WhatsApp University's greatest messaging triumph is that India is still in denial about what a stupid, selfish, and destructive move that was. People were robbed of their own money for months and they barely protested.
And BTW, I don't say this in an abstract academic sense. I was personally impacted. Had to handle a family emergency situation involving a death across 2 continents and 5 cities, while having to fly to Bombay overnight a few weeks after #DeMon. It was so bizarre and rough!
It's the first time I sang that line truly meaning it - "Aye Dil hai mushkil jeena yahaan". For the first time in my living memory, India had gotten harder than easier. And it was just the start.

After that, every trip, India gets harder than easier.

But that's fascism for you.
Read 14 tweets
6 Nov
This was a 2 step process for me

1. Babri 92 got me questioning religion, god, and pretty quickly turning atheist.

2. Distancing myself from Hinduism was a long term process. Not until my late 20s when I started reading Ambedkar did I explicitly distance myself from Hinduism.
BTW atheism was common and acceptable in the 90s in Pune in general and my family in particular. I got zero pushback from my deeply religious dad when I said I'm not doing shubhamkaroti anymore.

It feels like today's Pune has gotten more orthodox, like harkening to Peshwai.
Until a few years ago, I saw no contradiction in the term "Hindu atheist" because I had bought into the big tent version sold on the surface by our society. Charvaka was often cited.

But once your eyes open to how integral caste is to Hinduism/sanatanism/brahminism, you can't.
Read 17 tweets
5 Nov
Great question!
I'm gonna answer it as someone who came to the US without any intention of immigrating here. Just get a degree and go back, was my plan.

So my number 1 reason was the universities. US university system is at a whole other level altogether. Just is!
Just generally, all things being equal, if you're looking for a university degree of any kind, USA beyond compare. Sure, there are great universities in Europe too. But on the aggregate, especially when you're applying, US universities are the best. And have great resources.
Another thing the US has is the sheer size and scale as an immigration destination. It is a MASSIVE country, economically, geographically, culturally, demographically. Gives you a lot more flexibility than if you were to move to *a* European country. Even with EU flexibility.
Read 23 tweets
5 Nov
Foolproof recipe for making a sublime biryani. Make biryani. Put some lime slices on top. The biryani will be sub-lime. #selfthoo
Okay, here are some actual biryani tips. Keep in mind, I'm not a purist or authenticity-ist about food. I'm more into the taste and the science and the science behind the taste.

I like most biryanis. Even veg biryani. As long as it is well made. Good flavor and texture.
Over the years, I've eaten and made almost every type of biryani out there. Things that work for me:

- When cooking rice, err towards undercooking than overcooking
- meat is better brined in spices than marinated in yogurt
- Don't go overboard on the aromatics
- Steaming is key
Read 11 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!